Ubuntu vs. MX Linux: The Ultimate Comparison

MX Linux and Ubuntu are two of the most sought after open source desktop operating systems in use today. Their endless uses, easy access, and availability make both distros must-haves for Linux users.

These two distros are aptly preferred as they both continue to offer a number of unique features for the end users. Nonetheless, it is an apparent struggle and there can only be one victor.

Here is a detailed comparison between MX Linux and Ubuntu.

system requirements

MX Linux

To install MX Linux you need a CD/DVD drive. You must configure your system BIOS to boot from this drive. Alternatively, if you have a live USB, you can configure your BIOS to boot directly from the USB.

MX Linux requires at least the processing power of a modern Intel i486 or an equivalent AMD processor. Just 512MB of RAM is enough to run MX Linux on the most outdated systems.

In addition, the distribution requires 5 GB of free hard disk space. A minimal Sound Blaster, AC97 or similar HDA compatible sound card will suffice if you intend to play audio on your system.

Download: MX Linux


On the other hand, you can install Ubuntu on any system with a 2GHz dual-core processor or better replacement. Compared to MX Linux, Ubuntu requires 4 GB of system memory. It also requires a whopping 25GB of free disk space, which is five times more than MX Linux.


These are the minimum requirements regardless of which desktop environment you add to the distribution.

As with any other distro installation, you need to set the boot priority to the media you flashed the distro on. Additionally, Ubuntu requires an internet connection to get the best results.

Download: Ubuntu

system speed

MX Linux

MX Linux system performance

Despite its surprisingly low system requirements, MX Linux has a moderate boot time. Customizing your MX Linux desktop with the companion MX tools suite can help you optimize its performance. Customizations become easier as you progress from beginner to experienced Linux user.

If you want a performance-oriented experience with MX, you could benefit immensely from the XFCE desktop.


Ubuntu system performance

Ubuntu thrives as a desktop and caters to all types of users. Performance is boosted when you use the native Tweaks app to customize the desktop to suit your needs.

Depending on the scope of your hardware, Ubuntu lets you run the latest games with high-end minimum specs, in addition to business, multimedia, and research productivity.

With Focal Fossa 20.04, Ubuntu re-establishes itself as a Linux distribution tailored for a desktop experience with the highest level of stability. The updated kernel and GNOME desktop have made Ubuntu a powerful distribution solution that ideally competes with MX Linux.

desktop environments

MX Linux

MX Linux desktop

Being their flagship, MX Linux introduces the XFCE desktop by default. XFCE’s MX-native status gives you the best components for a modern computing experience.

The KDE Plasma version offers themes, icon packs and widgets; Essentially, you get everything you need for an aesthetically oriented desktop experience. However, the full scope of these widgets is best felt on AHS builds.


Ubuntu desktop

Ubuntu comes with only one desktop: GNOME. You can find the dock on the left side of the screen and the control panel on top. At the bottom left is an application menu icon reminiscent of Microsoft Windows.

If you don’t like the GNOME desktop, you can always install other desktops that fit your bill. Choose the one that offers you the desktop UI/UX suitable for your use.

Also See: Ubuntu Desktop vs. Ubuntu Server: What’s the Difference?

Desktop Applications

MX Linux

MX Linux desktop interface

The popularity of MX Linux has contributed to an extensive software repository. You can get open source software alternatives for email clients, office documentation, browsers, video editors, antivirus, ad blockers, media players and much more.

Although there is no native support for it, Microsoft 365 web applications are also available for MX Linux users.


Ubuntu Applications

You can use Ubuntu for home computing, entertainment, gaming, social media, science, and enterprise (web servers, cloud computing, IoT, and AI/ML) purposes.

Ubuntu has several official software repositories offering an endless list of packages. You can download stable versions of almost every package available for other Linux distributions.

Package installer and manager

MX Linux

CLI-based app manager Mx Linux

MX Linux uses dpkg, a low-level CLI tool for installing DEB packages. You can also use APT, an easy to use frontend wrapper for dpkg.

For GUI-based package installations, you can use Synaptic or Aptitude, both graphical tools that use APT behind the scenes to install packages.


Ubuntu Software Repository

On Ubuntu, you can use the Synaptic GUI package installer and download packages directly from the Ubuntu Software Center. Downloading packages with APT is also a choice for users who are familiar with Linux commands.

Ubuntu also comes with Snap support by default. Snap is a distribution-independent universal packaging format that aims to provide packages to run on all Linux distributions.

user experience

MX Linux

Conky Manager Mx Linux

Regardless of the desktop and theme you use, MX Linux offers you a clean and tidy desktop. The layout is designed to increase your productivity. There are plenty of themes available for each desktop environment, so you can change the interface to your liking.

The ease of use of MX Linux is complemented by advanced hardware support. Also, the learning curve can only get lower when using desktops like XFCE or KDE Plasma as aesthetics and efficiency go up a notch.


Ubuntu themes

Ubuntu’s docked desktop area should give you access to your favorite apps. Ubuntu is faster than Windows systems and has a flat learning curve. Thus, you can use it incrementally for advanced computing applications.

Related: Best Ubuntu-based Linux Distributions Ever

Ubuntu may be a mid-weight operating system, but it feels like a lightweight distro right from the start. The customizability and simplicity of navigation, accessibility options, routine updates, security options, and GUI-driven application management boost user experience points.

MX Linux vs. Ubuntu: The Final Verdict

MX Linux is aimed at beginners who need a no-frills Linux environment that they can customize to their needs. As a descendant of Debian’s stable branch, MX Linux is also suitable for enterprise use.

On the other hand, Ubuntu focuses on novice and advanced Linux users alike. Its higher system requirements may not be a good fit for low-spec devices, but it allows researchers, programmers, multimedia professionals, and businesses to use it with its full feature set.

Based on these use cases, you can choose one of these Linux distributions. Alongside MX Linux and Ubuntu, Elementary OS is also a worthy contender in the fray.

Ubuntu vs elementary operating system
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